06 January 2012

Get Inspired to Make a Change

Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions.
Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual. 
~Mark Twain
I want to live in the Pottery Barn catalog.

I want to wake up in that four poster mahogany bed with the billowy curtains blowing in the effortless breeze. I want to shut off my vintage alarm clock next to a glass bowl filled with white roses, a cream colored candle and a rattan beehive basket.

I want to get ready in that bathroom. You know the one with the classic turned leg consoles and the marble tops. Cushy towels are rolled like burritos in a French market basket and I would stand on the His and Hers bath mats and brush my teeth admiring my visage in the beveled glass mirror.

I want to step lightly into that living room with the antique looking propeller on the wall and the humongous mirror leaning just so. I would glide by the effortlessly elegant beige twill slip covered sofa and stop to plump up the white orchid applique pillow, leaving the book open on the trestle coffee table to the page that I will come back to later whilst sipping lemonade in tall glasses.

I want to fix a glorious meal in that kitchen with the multi-tasking island with the clever glass canning jar chandelier and sink into a classic brown leather nailhead studded Parson's chair at my substantial carved wood table with bottles of wine, layers of casually mis-matched dishware and oversized canning jars brimming with faux dogwood blossom stems for $59.50 a piece.


But since that is not likely, I will but dream of the rooms that could be.....and indulge in a little virtual home staging.

I got my new Pottery Barn catalogs today (those PB Teens have the coolest and tidiest rooms around! My almost teens don't know how to make their beds so it looks more like a herd of monkeys live in my house ;-). I always paw through them, dog-earring the pages and circling the things I like the most. I won't likely get them, but it is okay to dream.

However, I was struck by the title on the catalog.

Home Resolutions: Get Inspired to Make a Change

I am not very big on resolutions. They don't work for me and not for many other people. Usually they are too lofty or not specific enough and that makes them hard to keep longer than a week.I look at resolutions as merely....suggestions. Sort of like when you come to a crossroads and you see all those signs pointing in different directions. Except that these signs point me where I should be headed.

So I was struck by the title and had to read more (yes, I treat the hallowed PB catalogs like the finest novels. I can't afford magazine subscriptions and they are just so entertaining, enlightening and filled with fantasy!). And I decided that this is as good a plan as any for the new year. So I thought I would see if these suggestions could actually apply to me.

Resolution No. 1 ~ Get More Sleep

I am horrendous at upholding this one. I am a night owl for sure. I do all my best work at night. Or so I think. I have never really had daylight hours to create anything. And I am starting to think that when I do get those precious few rays of sunshine, I just can't seem to make them work to my advantage. Still. The bags under my eyes are starting to take on a life of their own. I am resolved this year to go to bed before midnight. At least a few nights a week.

Resolution No. 2 ~ Have More Family Meals

"The simple act of sharing a meal together each day keeps families connected."

This would be a good one, too, if by family meals you mean take out from Chef Chu's or Chili's To Go. Because most nights with the schedules that we keep around here, that is about as close to a meal as it gets. I may have forgotten how to cook from scratch. But I did get a brand-spankin'-new microwave for Christmas since my son came downstairs holding the handle that broke clean off in his hands as he popped some corn ("I wasn't hanging on it. Honest!"). The new one is so spiffy I am almost afraid to use it with it's highly polished interior (I keep thinking that the lights are on it it but it is just a reflection) and the carousel that not only turns but gently rolls back and forth (not sure if it cooks things more evenly, I am mostly concerned that it will just be one more thing to break). So maybe the whole family meals thing could work. As long as they are all microwaveable. ;-) Reheating take-out is a family meal if you are all sitting down to it together, yes?

Resolution No. 3 ~ Eat Healthier

Or course. I would guess that is connected to Resolution No. 2 above. I will have to find a way to sneak more vegetables and fruits into the mix. They are onto me with the baby food carrots trick (what? Don't all moms of teenagers buy #2 baby food carrot puree to put into all the red pasta sauces that they serve? Well, I sure do!). But I have already started for myself. No more pastries, muffins, scones and the like from my coffee shop. A bowl of oatmeal awaits me each day and I am fine with that. Along with that is the need for me to get more active. I am thinking that I need to take my daughter up on Just Dance 3 more often. That game is a work out!

Resolution No. 4 ~ Stock Up on Basics

This is one that I truly try to accomplish, and this year I will redouble my efforts. I rarely wear trendy clothes, preferring solid colors and classic styles to whatever silhouette is hot. I don't have a trendy home, unless you consider that custom made sectional couch from Dayton's in the 1980s that we 'inherited' trendy (it actually is probably back in style in a retro sort of way). But this year I do resolve to do a massive use-what-I-have, in life and in jewelry design. I have dozens of picture frames in need of some art or photos, cans of paint that I have purchased in the hopes of painting a room and massive amounts of bedding stemming from the fact that my parents sold their little used Florida home in 2009 and we inherited whole rooms. In terms of jewelry design, I would really like to use up what I have as I am sick of looking at it. Or maybe I need to start giving it away so that someone else will see it as exciting. Sort of a purging. Of course, that will be right after I finish my shopping spree to buy the beads and components I need for the next Gallery Q exhibit that I am working on right now. ;-)

Resolution No. 5 ~ Change Your Style

Well, I don't see that I will be running out for a whole new wardrobe or buying out the Pottery Barn catalog (didn't they just tell me to stock up on basics? Now they want me to change my style?). Still. We did rip out the innards of a closet over break, but have yet to construct the closet cubby of my dreams (and I am really getting tired of tripping over the coats and boots in the living room because my husband now says that the 'plan' that I came up with seems too challenging... simply a box and some hooks and a shelf. (Pass me the phone book. I need the name of a handyman). 

{Have you checked out AnaWhite.com? Cool stuff there. I wouldn't even need the fancy dividers. I only have a small 42" closet so I just want the ledge on the bottom divided in two with room for shoes and boots, coat hooks and a shelf on top. It doesn't even have to be yellow, although that would be pretty cool. Is that too much to ask?}
I would like to try on some new styles of jewelry for a change. I have a desire to make more minimalistic pieces. I want to explore using new materials, focusing on metals and trying new techniques like enameling. So maybe that is how I can resolve to change my style.

Resolution No. 6 ~ Make Every Detail Count

This is an easy one. I always try to make every detail count in all my designs. I always try to think about adding details that will make the wearer feel special and give them something to look forward to each time they wear it. So I guess that this is really a call to making my home details count. Like getting rid of that ugly royal blue in the bonus room rather than trying to decorate around it. Or putting up shelves and pictures on the walls. That is something do-able especially since we can no longer say that we just moved into this house... in 2009.

Resolution No. 7 ~ Refresh Your Bed

I think that means that I need to dryclean my bedding. Or perhaps buy new bedding. And new pillows. The old ones are killing me. That is a can-do resolution!

Resolution No. 8 ~ Update Your Bathroom

Funny. I was just thinking that would be a good one.

We have a powder room that we swapped out the ugly gold plastic light for a really beautiful scroll-y metal one. But you can still see the outline of where they painted around said ugly fixture. And it isn't like this bathroom never gets used. It is likely the most often used room in the house. So I think about this all.the.time.

The kids bathroom is a jack-and-jill style. I thought that would be all the rage having lived through the Brady Bunch era, but it really is not ideal. My 13- and 10- year olds are constantly bickering about the bathroom, especially how the doors work or if they ever get closed at all.  If I could rip it out and start over there would be an entrance from the hall. But since my husband is not that keen on building projects (see Resolution No. 5) I will settle for painting it. My son's room is charcoal gray with white and red accents. My daughter's room is green and blue (but she would kill to have an orange room!). The key is to blending these two. I have some gray and green and blue paint, and maybe even a little orange (since the previous owners had painted the dining room blaze orange but was thankfully changed to beige before we got here), and I had always planned to do wide stripes up the walls. I think that this is the year to do it.

And then there is my master bath. The only thing that could stay is the huge whirlpool tub simply because it is so large and unwieldy. The rest could go. At the very least I want to redo the double sink with the tower in the middle. Do you know how inconvenient a tall tower is in between the sinks? It feels so cramped because of this and it is really a good size room. Here is a good PB option:

Right down to the greyhound statue and the smart looking baskets (is there enough room for all my toiletries?). Not sure why I need to store my sugar canister in the bathroom, but I can roll with it.

Resolution No. 9 ~ Get Beautifully Organized

"Life is so much better when everything is in its place. Great storage does more than just organize a room; it adds an element of invention."

Now these last two were not resolutions per se, but rather titles on the pages. But they sounded like perfect resolutions to me. And ten is such a nice number.

I have this great studio space. It is large. My husband who is not into building things, is pretty good at hanging things, and he put up some shelves that I had sitting around (see use-what-you-have above). My hope is that I can get all the boxes, bags and bins off the floor and put away in the next month. I would also like to hang artwork in here and decorate a bit so that it feels more artsy and less hodge-podge to me. I have this fantastic printer's cabinet that houses most of my beads but I actually have three drawers that are completely unused. And all that could populate it are in various states of stack-age in danger of toppling. And it makes it very hard to know what I have and what I don't.

When my office downsized last year, there was an opportunity to obtain a huge L-shaped desk and table. As a gift. As in for free. It was my Mother's Day gift to transport it home. And today I asked about a few extra office chairs (we are an office of 9 people and there are at least 18 rolling office chairs. I offered to buy them, but I was told to just take them. Woot! So instead of the folding chair I am currently sitting on, I will be getting two new-to-me and very nice matching office chairs for my space. My back will be thanking me ;-)

I would like to have everything in its place so that I feel good about showing all of you. And inviting you over. I have in the past hired a professional organizer, but one or two hours with her is just not enough. Maybe I can bribe my sister to come up and help me out. It would be a great gift to me. Her bubbling-just-under-the-surface OCD with order could really come in handy. ;-)

Resolution No. 10 ~ Declutter Your Desk

Ah. This is something that is a true necessity. Especially with taxes looming (but most everything is in folders this year so the sorting should be a bit less). When I brought in that new desk and the corresponding table, that table sat in my living room from Mother's Day 2011 until just before Christmas! My sweet husband brought the table down and set up the computer on it, but moved the folding table and all it's junky contents into the center of the studio. I talked myself into it being a perfect place to stage my shipments and orders for the holidays. And it was. But that time is gone and I need to open the space back up. Or clear off the table so that I can set up an enameling station on it (if I can convince myself to open the enameling kit and buy the Mapp gas and hope that I don't burn the house down in the process! I am so scared to do it but so ready to start!). I have been trying to put things away after I use them rather then leaving them out. But I still think I need professional help. ;-)

So, there you have it. Inspiration can come from the most unlikely of spaces. The Pottery Barn catalog may inspire me to indeed make a change or two this year. Even if I can't live the Pottery Barn dream I can be inspired by the lifestyle these fantasy rooms espouse.

What about you? Do you make a list of resolutions for yourself? How successful are you at keeping them? Which of these ten resolutions might work for you? 

I pick a word to frame my year. But since this I obviously had a lot to say with this post, I will save that for another day. Stay tuned for more information on what my word is... soon!


Alice said...

I love Pottery Barn too, but can't afford any of it. In looking around my home I realize that I'm still stuck in the 80's and 90's in terms of decorating. But each time I think to make the change I have trouble picking a style, or can't find what I want, or am too cheap to fork over the money.

You've got some great goals for the new year. I hope you keep us updated on how it goes. As for eating better, that's on my list too, but my family is not always up for change. We'll see how it goes.

Marcie Abney said...

We are in the process of updating the bathroom, just paint, a new mirror, shower curtain and a couple of pictures. You'd be surprised how updated a room can look when you take down the flat glass mirror that the contractor put in. (We purchased a $120 on sale framed mirror from Pier 1 with lots of color and style) I'm so excited! Good luck with your resolutions and I hope to see what you've accomplished in the coming months!

SummersStudio said...

No resolutions for me as they are just a recipe for making me feel bad about myself when I fail. I am quite proud to have cleared two of my messy work tables and actually put things away after working at those nice clean surfaces. This is the year of organisation for me. I am going room by room and breaking it into little pieces. And this time I will buy the little things that we need to put things away before the whole house slides into chaos. Otherwise, I am on a no goal year, no major plan, live life in a sort of loose outline, and let things unfold moment by moment. Although, Pottery Barn always tempts me and for the first time ever mine went straight to the bin last night. I kind of regret that.

Off the Beadin' Path said...

PB should use your post in their ads, seriously!! That's a major wish book, isn't it?! You picked out such desirable designs, too. I was already planning a visit to your "new" surroundings, double sigh. Your resolutions have my coveted Home Ec. Stamp of Approval!! Well-chosen, my Dear! I've been a little concerned about your circadian rhythm interruptions :) I like the carrots in the sauce idea too. If it's a large batch, you can add some canned pumpkin, the super food! Happy organizing and de-cluttering, you've inspired me - again!

Jennifer Jangles said...

I am anxiously awaiting your word of the year. You inspired me to last year to pick one for this year. I have never been good at resolutions but my word came to me and it is perfect in so many ways. I would tell you but I am planning to blog about mine as well. :)

I'll be checking your blog everyday :)

Happy New Year!

Brandi Hussey said...

I would happily live in a Pottery Barn cataloged house. Or Restoration Hardware, either or.

As for resolutions, you know I don't them and you already know why. But I like the idea of making good changes, so here's hoping 2012 is a good year for that!

Cynthia said...

I love this post Erin. You are so funny! I must admit, when I saw the first photo of that bed, before I started reading, I thought "Oooooh, I wish I were there". PB should pay you to write for their catalogs!!
I want to encourage you to get the MAPP gas and start the torch enameling. I, also, put it off, for similar reasons. I had the book, kit, MAPP gas, cleared a place, etc... but still was apprehensive. I think I wanted it to go well, so I was afraid to start, in case I failed. BUT - I did it last weekend, and it was so much fun!! After 2 hours, I have 2 fistfuls of enameled beads. I'm hooked, and you will be too! And as a bonus, I did not even burn myself! Do it Erin!!!

lunedreams said...

I'm with you on Pottery Barn. I could be very, very happy in every single room in every single PB catalog I've ever seen.

Resolutions only ever oppress me. As soon as I make one it starts to suffocate me! Typically I just get a sudden wild hare in the usual place and jump up and do it. I like being able to convince myself it's completely spontaneous. Even if I start "spontaneously" doing it four days a week.

All of those are great refreshing ideas! That's a lot of things though--don't wear yourself out!! Maybe just start with two (like sleeping more and eating better!) and don't worry about the rest for now. When those become a habit you can pick another one to work on.

lunedreams said...

p.s. Mapp is no big deal! The flame isn't really that big (it's not like a flamethrower, it's a fairly narrow flame), it's kind of underwhelming when you finally try it. My house is probably about 675 sq ft, I use it in the kitchen and I've never caught anything on fire.

indigo heart said...

my one resolution which isn't really a resolution is to get healthier. we eat really good around here, it's just the exercise that i need to do. i've already begun by cutting back on my diet coke consumption. i do feel better, so that's nice. i'm gonna try yoga. here's hoping 2012 is better than last year was! and it's not that much of a stretch, for me.

Michelle said...

I'm trying to get healthier...you know what's working for a fast and easy breakfast? I've been cutting up lots of veggies and eating them for breakfast at work (since my day starts at 4am and work starts at 6--i take my breakfast to work). I can pretty much snack all morning on these crunchy babies and not feel any guilt. Add about 2 tblsp of pb for my celery and i'm full until i get to eat lunch!

Need help organizing? I'm really good at it and I really love to do it. I thought about becoming a professional organizer at one point. LOL

Many hugs to you,

JeannieK said...

I must get me one of those Pottery Barn catalogs.
I can certainly help you with the "eat healthier and get more active."
Resolutions are a bad idea. I think they create unnecessary anxiety.
Here's to more sleep in 2012.

Kim said...

I love the list. I've never seen a pottery barn catalog, I must go sign up for them. As far as Mapp gas - buy a fire extingusher. Even if I never have to use it I feel safer having it, and being a little scared is a good thing because it will make you more careful :-)

Cindy said...

I agree with the above - what a great post, Erin! Who would have thought, finding so much inspiration in a PB catalogue? I used to be in a huge Restoration Hardware phase and poured over their catalogues. My husband would dread when new one came in the mail. I keep many of the PB Kids catalogues for ideas but I have yet to really decorate here in the new house. Seriously, still contractor cream paint on the walls and no pictures up yet!! I do want to start with the kitchen...
As I read through your thoughts and goals for the new year, I really could relate as we have so much in common. Going to bed before midnight? I know for both of us that will be a tough one!
Your new L-shaped table and comfy chairs sound like great studio additions. I'm happy you were able to bring those home. It sounds like you are on your way to a great 2012...looking forward to hearing more along the way!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin